Christian Center’s Back 2 Basics helps local kids get ready for school
Christian Center of Park City’s Back 2 School Basics
7 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 9
Outlets of Park City
The Christian Center of Park City is taking at least 600 underprivileged students on its annual Back 2 School Basics shopping spree for supplies and clothing this Friday.
The event, now in its seventh year, is set to take place at Outlets Park City, formerly known as Tanger Outlets.
Volunteers and students will hit some of the 13 participating stores starting at 7 a.m., said Rob Harter, Christian Center of Park City executive director.
“We take the kids and one adult – their mom, dad, aunt or uncle or guardian – and we pair them up with a volunteer and the child will get to pick out what they need,” Harter said. “Each child will get $100 to do this.”
Having the child pick out their own clothes and supplies is a crucial part of the program, according to Harter.
“Empowering the child is something special,” he said. “We want the kids to feel more confidence, and what better way of doing that by giving them an opportunity to say ‘I picked out these shoes,’ or ‘I picked out my shirt.’”
The Christian Center is still looking for volunteers to help take the kids to the stores, Harter said.
“Our goal is to get at least 200 volunteers, but 250 would be fantastic,” he said.
There isn’t an age limit for volunteers, although Harter said anyone younger than 16 will need to be accompanied by a parent.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the event can email Jessica Bryant at email@example.com, Harter said.
“We will also make sure the volunteers rotate,” he said. “They will shop with one family, and then they will be assigned to another.”
The rotations are required because the number of students has increased throughout the years, Harter said.
“We want to make sure we take care of at least 600 kids this year,” he said. “If we get more money, we’ll bring in more kids.”
Individuals can donate $100 to sponsor a child in different ways. The money can be donated by visiting ccofpc.org, or people can drop of checks at the Christian Center’s offices, 1283 Deer Valley Drive.
Back 2 Basics started when Harter and his staff learned that many kids who live in Summit County didn’t have adequate clothing for the upcoming academic year.
“We learned that some kids’ jeans were too short, their shoes were too small or they didn’t have winter wear,” he said. “And we know how hard it is to concentrate when your shoes are too tight, or your clothes don’t fit.”
Harter also heard from various teachers that many kids didn’t have access to proper school supplies.
“We wanted to help provide those items and make the burden of starting the new school year a little lighter,” he said. “We want them to have a better educational experience this year.”
Since the nonprofit started the program, teachers have noticed a change in these students’ attitudes, according to Harter.
“They have told us these kids have arrived ready to learn, and that has also encourages the teachers because they see some of these kids who are coming from struggling families start the year off right,” he said.
In addition to helping the children feel a sense of confidence, Back 2 Basics also serves as a bridge to connect young volunteers with these families, Harter said.
“Many times they find they have many more things in common than they realized,” he said.
Harter said the program wouldn’t be possible without the participation of Outlets Park City.
“They have been very supportive,” he said. “They have also told us that this program is one of the highest-selling days of the year for many of the participating stores. So we are happy to help the local economy while helping these kids.”
For information, visit ccofpc.org.
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